Thursday, August 20, 2009

Human Ping-Pong: Made in Hong Kong, Distributed by Walmart

Dear Walmart Canada - Vancouver (Supercentre),

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for creating an environment, lacking of initiative and accountability, which would reaffirm my position that you really can't expect much from a place that sells itself on "cheap".

I was in your store a few weeks ago, looking to purchase a netbook. I should add, at this point, that your online catalogue search feature is, at best, completely useless. Why list a computer system and not provide any details beyond its brand and colour? It was only when I arrived at your store that I would find out that they were sold out.

I suppose I have only myself to blame for thinking that your company would extend simple courtesies that are common place in other major retailer outlets like Future Shop or The Bay - silly me. Clearly it was asking a lot to have an associate call another location to see if the item I was looking for was available there. Better yet, stick me with a kid, who probably barely legally able to sell rated R material, to help me out. A kid who told me that I would have to walk to the other end of your "Supercentre", roughly the size of 2 CFL football fields, to have Customer Service make the call for me because, supposedly, none of the phones in his department had an outside line. Sure. He shall henceforth be known as Kid McGreen.

After standing in line for 15 minutes, one of your more amiable associates told me that my inquiry had to be made department-to-department, meaning that I would have to walk back across the length of your football field store to have someone phone another store. At least I got an apology from him as I was escorted back.

But alas, your friendly associate was swamped and I was again left in the hands of Kid McGreen. After McGreen was able to flag down his manager, who would then point out the phone to use and told him to dial 9 and then the phone number, he made his first dial-out attempt. I call it an attempt because he picked up the handset, pressed 9, hung up, picked up the handset again, then dialed the phone number, and then just stood there in confusion. Sigh. Even when I tried to tell him how it worked, he dismissed me, in his haste, to go find his all-knowing Sensei Manager. When Sensei came back, she just did it for him, handed him the handset, and grumbled as she walked away. I sense your Sensei is disappointed, I would suggest counseling for her.

After that phone call resulted in no available stock in your Burnaby store, I asked McGreen if he could call North Vancouver. Again, Sensei was consulted and because she was lacking much-needed counseling, she simply told me they had a "one phone call" policy. Yes, that makes perfect sense to me when it's a weekday, and there are 2 customers in your area for your 5 associates and I'm asking 1 of them to use a phone line that never rings, in a low traffic area - that is certainly grounds for having a "phone call" policy. When I pointed out the atmospheric condition and if a breech of policy was possible, your Sensei made it crystal clear that every courtesy had already been extended to me and perhaps I was getting greedy. I disagreed but resigned myself to just obtaining a phone number that I would dial myself, on my cell phone, using my own minutes - even though a landline was within reach that would be free. Heaven forbid I breech department policy and spend $0.0000000000002 of your hard earned profit margin. After all, your Sensei had reached her courtesy quota for the day and I was out of luck.

So, again, I thank you for such an inspiring experience and for compelling me to share this with all of my friends, and those on the Interweb.

Yours truly,
Human Ping-pong

PS: If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm being facetious.

PPS: If you don't know what that word means, then you're probably related to Kid McGreen.

PPPS: And I wouldn't ask Sensei Manager because she's probably filled her pickle-hole quota for the decade.

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